35 year old Trongsa nyagoe, Phuntsho Wangdi from Nubi-Tangsibi, and father of three earned himself the title of ‘ Druk¬gi Nyagoe’ (strongest man of the country) by beating four other contenders and taking home a prize money of Nu. 300,000.
It was his moment, surrounded by his supporter’s, one by one congratulating him for winning the title while his phone kept on ringing.
He said he had no words to express his happiness but was proud and happy. He intends to contribute some amount from the prize money for building a Chorten back in his village.
Yeshey Penjor, the Nyagoe coordinator for Trongsa said,” Right from the beginning, we were very sure and confident that the title was his, as he was doing well compared to others. By the grace of the god and support from the five gewogs of Trongsa, Phuntsho Wangdi has won the title.”
Further he also said that by winning the title, they have nothing to show off expect to be proud and glad to be part of this auspicious celebration.
Phuntsho Wangdi had no difficulty in completing any of the tasks, compared to other contenders.
The second runner up was Kinley Wangdi, 30, of Chumey, Bumthang. Despite being happy for securing the second position, he said more than winning, he was happy to be in the top five and also for taking part in the celebrations to celebrate the birth anniversary of His Majesty the King. He won Nu. 200,000 for coming in second.
“The thought in my mind was, not about winning, but about putting in all my effort to just complete the task,” Kinley Wangdi said.
“It was the faith and support from my supporters and people back home due to which I gained popularity and secured the second position. Had they not been there, it would have been just impossible. It is a
proud moment for me not because I have won second but because I have been able to make my dzongkhag proud.” he added.
Kinley Wangdi who is a farmer by occupation and a father of three children said that his life would be the same even after gaining so much fame.
With satisfaction on his face, he said that he would be donating the half prize money to build a statue in Tang gewog. He will be going back on to his village February 26.
Karma Tshering, the Nyagoe coordinator for the Bumthang said though he expected the first position but he was happy with the second position.
“He had a problem while lifting the tyres but we are happy as the time difference between the first Nyagoe and him was just 10 seconds. Since day one, he has been performing well. In the quarter final, he was fourth, in semi final, third and in final, he stood second. The spirit of Bumthaps was high as compared to other dzongkhags and we are just proud,” he said.
The third title was won by Trashiyangtse Nyagoe, Cheki Dorji, 33, who won Nu.100, 000. Though during the start of the task, he was last he gradually he caught up with the other contenders.
Speaking to The Bhutanese, Cheki Dorji said that he did not even imagine that he would see himself in top 10 but by the grace of the god and support from my supporters, he made it to the top 5.
For him, securing a third position was more than enough and he said it was a proud moment.
He claimed he would have secured the second consumed his time.
The Trashiyangtse coordinator said that the contestant would have performed well if there was some moral support from the people of Trashiyangtse. “It seemed that the Nyagoe was disturbed by that,” the coordinator said.
Nyagoes from Trongsa, Bumthang, Trashiyangtse, Trashigang and Wangduephodrang were the top five finalists. Others who could not make it to the finals were given a chance to participate in separate events of like, bull fight and wrestling.
It was a huge disappointment and shock for the supporters and the people of Trashigang, when the man they had been supporting and cheering for could not hold any position in the grand finale of Nyagoe Dendhur.
Breaking all records till the semi final, the Trashigang nyagoe (strongman) Jurmi Wangdi had secured himself the first place, completing all tasks of dragging and carrying a log, cutting the log, carrying the sand bags and truck tyres among others, in four minutes and four seconds however during the grand finale yesterday, he saw himself in the fourth position.
The Wangduephodrang Nyagoe Passa Dorji came fifth as he was unable to complete his tasks and he gave up.
Nyagoes in the fourth and fifth positions were awarded Nu 50,000 and Nu 30,000 individually.
Henceforth, the event will be an annual event and it will be a rolling trophy. The cash prize till the third position is sponsored by Guup Sonam Dukpa and he will be sponsoring it for the next three years while the fourth and fifth prize is sponsored by Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs along with the trophy.